A unique POV of L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal

I mentioned in my last post that I had received an invitation to visit L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal and take photographs from some restricted areas. Today I’m happy to share some of the images I was able to capture.

From the 10th to the 19th March the Oratory welcomes large numbers of visitors to celebrate Novena and Feast of Saint Joseph and is in fact the busiest time of year for the Oratory. Tuesday was the last day of the Novena but with the heavy snow the crowds were a little lighter than expected, but was still busy despite the late blast of winter making travel not that easy.

My invitation to visit came about due to contact being made following my post last February when the Oratory contacted me to acquire the rights to a few of my images – one of which I was very happy to see used on the Novena order of service.

Prior to meeting up with my contact Samuel, I grabbed a few external pictures of the Oratory that was just visible through the heavy snow.

 

Saint-Josephs Oratory in the snow

Saint-Josephs Oratory in the snow
ISO 100 – 28mm – f9.5 – 1/250 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

Saint-Josephs Oratory in the snow

Saint-Josephs Oratory in the snow
ISO 100 – 48mm – f9.5 – 1/250 sec

The first stop on my special tour was the Votive Chapel. The chapel was constructed between 1946 to 1949 as an annex to the Crypt church due to the need for more space to display the crutches and canes left behind by the sick who had been healed. The Votive Chapel contains over 10,000 vigil lamps, which I was later to find give off a lot of heat.

We headed through a side door and up some steps that led to a narrow passage running behind the chapel walls. The wall is divided in places with small openings where vigil lamps are placed and provided a view back to inside the Votive Chapel – a really special view and I was eager to get shooting.

 

The Votive Chapel at L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal

The Votive Chapel at L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal
ISO 400 – 32mm – f5.6 – 1/8 sec

Statue of Saint Joseph in the Votive Chapel

Statue of Saint Joseph in the Votive Chapel
ISO 400 – 11.5mm – f16 – 2 secs

The Votive Chapel at Saint Joseph's Oratory

The Votive Chapel at Saint Joseph’s Oratory
ISO 400 – 10mm – f11 – 2 secs

Saint Joseph's statue in the Votive Chapel

Saint Joseph’s statue in the Votive Chapel
ISO 400 – 11.5mm – f11 – 0.5 sec

Behind the walls of the Votive Chapel

Behind the walls of the Votive Chapel
ISO 400 – 10mm – f11 – 0.7 sec

 

Behind the walls of the Votive Chapel

Behind the walls of the Votive Chapel
ISO 400 – 11mm – f6.7 – 1/3 sec

 

The Votive Chapel at Saint Joseph's Oratory

The Votive Chapel at Saint Joseph’s Oratory
ISO 400 – 17mm – f6.7 – 3 secs

In nearly all the Votive Chapel pictures, I had decided to shoot relatively long exposures – in an attempt to capture the movement of people below. Since I couldn’t use a tripod due to the space limitations, I ended up holding the camera against the grid structure next to the candles, which I discovered was a great way to remove hair from the back of your hands as well ;-) 

This next picture is not the best quality, but I wanted to share as it shows the grids that I was shooting through.

The Votive Chapel at Saint Joseph's Oratory

The Votive Chapel at Saint Joseph’s Oratory
ISO 400 – 10mm – f11 – 0.7 secs

 

The Votive Chapel at Saint Josephs Oratory

The Votive Chapel at Saint Josephs Oratory
ISO 200 – 12mm – f5.6 – 1 sec

The Votive Chapel at Saint Josephs Oratory

The Votive Chapel at Saint Josephs Oratory
ISO 160 – 20mm – f5.6 – 4 secs

The Votive Chapel at Saint Josephs Oratory

The Votive Chapel at Saint Josephs Oratory
ISO 100 – 20mm – f5.6 – 6 secs

 

The Votive Chapel at Saint Josephs Oratory

The Votive Chapel at Saint Josephs Oratory
ISO 400 – 11mm – f19 – 4 secs

The Votive Chapel at Saint Josephs Oratory

The Votive Chapel at Saint Josephs Oratory
ISO 160 – 20mm – f5.6 – 1.5 sec

Behind the walls of the Votive Chapel

Behind the walls of the Votive Chapel
ISO 400 – 10mm – f8 – 1.5 secs

Behind the walls of the Votive Chapel

Behind the walls of the Votive Chapel
ISO 400 – 10mm – f9.5 – 4 secs

We also managed to access the area behind the statue of Saint Joseph…

Saint Joseph's statue in the Votive Chapel

Saint Joseph’s statue in the Votive Chapel
ISO 1600 – 11mm – f4.2 – 1/15 sec

 

Saint Joseph's statue in the Votive Chapel

Saint Joseph’s statue in the Votive Chapel
ISO 400 – 11mm – f4.2 – 1/8 sec

Saint Joseph's statue in the Votive Chapel

Saint Joseph’s statue in the Votive Chapel
ISO 400 – 10mm – f4 – 1/8 sec

Vigil lamps inside the Votive Chapel

Vigil lamps inside the Votive Chapel
ISO 400 – 10mm – f4 – 1/4 sec

Behind Saint Joseph's statue

Behind Saint Joseph’s statue
ISO 400 – 17mm – f5.3 – 1.5 sec

Staircase leading to the rear of Saint Joseph statue

Staircase leading to the rear of Saint Joseph statue
ISO 400 – 11.5mm – f4.2 – 1 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

After leaving the Voltive Chapel we headed up the escalators to the Basilica and entered the organ balcony. It was good timing as afternoon mass was in progress and the balcony provided a great vantage point.

Mass at Saint Joseph's Oratory

Mass at Saint Joseph’s Oratory
ISO 100 – 16mm – f11 – 15 secs (-2ev/0/+2ev)

Mass at Saint Joseph's Oratory

Mass at Saint Joseph’s Oratory
ISO 100 – 10mm – f11 – 1/20 sec

Mass at Saint Joseph's Oratory

Mass at Saint Joseph’s Oratory
ISO 100 – 21mm – f6.7 – 0.7 secs (-2ev/0/+2ev)

Mass at Saint Joseph's Oratory

Mass at Saint Joseph’s Oratory
ISO 100 – 70mm – f6.7 – 6 secs (-2ev/0/+2ev)

Mass at Saint Joseph's Oratory

Mass at Saint Joseph’s Oratory
ISO 100 – 70mm – f4.5 – 2 secs (-2ev/0/+2ev)

It goes without saying that the highlight of being in the organ balcony was getting a closeup view of the famous Beckerath organ – considered one of the world’s top 10 outstanding organs.

The organ was constructed in Hamburg, Germany between the years 1958 and 1959 and installed in the Oratory in 1960. Since there was a Mass in progress the organist was present and was a treat watching him play this amazing instrument.

The Bekerath organ at Saint Joseph's Oratory

The Bekerath organ at Saint Joseph’s Oratory
ISO 100 – 18mm – f6.7 – 1 sec

 

Organist playing the Beckerath organ at Saint Joseph Oratory

Organist playing the Beckerath organ at Saint Joseph Oratory
ISO 100 – 135mm – f6.7 – 0.5 sec

After visiting the organ balcony we descended to the main floor of the Basilica and made our way to the rear of the altar. With Mass still in progress I refrained taking too many shots but couldn’t resist taking one or 2 ;-)

Mass at Saint Joseph Oratory

Mass at Saint Joseph Oratory
ISO 800 – 20mm – f5.6 – 1/6 sec

The Choir at Saint Joseph Oratory

The Choir at Saint Joseph Oratory
ISO 1600 – 90mm – f4.5 – 1/45 sec

My visit finished up at one of the chapels at the side of the main Basilica…unfortunately I forget the name of this particular chapel. It was a shame it was still a bit overcast outside as I imagine the sunlight coming through the windows would really make this small chapel glow.

A chapel at L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal

A chapel at L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal
ISO 400 – 10mm – f9.5 – 10 secs (-2ev/0/+2ev)

A chapel at L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal

A chapel at L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal
ISO 400 – 13mm – f9.5 – 4 secs (-2ev/0/+2ev)

I’m very thankful to Samuel and the team at L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal for giving me this opportunity to view Canada’s largest church from vantage points generally only seen by employees. Being such a vast building, there is so much to see (and shoot) I will certainly be returning, particularly since I have still not photographed the Crypt church.

To view images in gallery format, simply click on one of the images below.

 

 

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

- Martin

This entry was posted in 52 Project, Location, NDG and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

2 Comments

  1. Nathalie Dumas March 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    Nice nice nice photos Martin! Congratulations!
    Nathalie Dumas

  2. Montreal in Pictures March 25, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    Thank you Nathalie…It was a real privilege to visit and view the Oratory from these vantage points :-)